Ignition switch

doi: 10.1038/491159a

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科学を守るために活動した人に贈られるJohn Maddox賞の初めての受賞者が、英国の精神科医と中国の科学ライターに決まった。

John Maddox prize

doi: 10.1038/491160a

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Science aid

doi: 10.1038/491159b

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Irish science adviser office axed

doi: 10.1038/491173a

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Hurricane sweeps US into climate-adaptation debate

doi: 10.1038/491167a

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Laser lab shifts focus to warheads

doi: 10.1038/491170a

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Space telescope to get software fix

doi: 10.1038/491172a

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Hopes linger for Mars methane

doi: 10.1038/491174a

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Researchers battle storm’s wrath

doi: 10.1038/491169a

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One-stop shop for disease genes

doi: 10.1038/491171a

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News Features


Africa's counting house


doi: 10.1038/491176a

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Goodbye glaciers


doi: 10.1038/491180a

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News & Views


Translational medicine: Mice and men show the way p.196


doi: 10.1038/491196a

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Imaging: The fog clears p.197


doi: 10.1038/491197a

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Biochemistry: A glimpse of molecular competition p.198


doi: 10.1038/nature11639

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Astronomy: Meet our closest neighbour p.200


doi: 10.1038/nature11636

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Microbiology: Bacterial power cords p.201


doi: 10.1038/nature11638

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Applied physics: Brighter images with no added noise p.202


doi: 10.1038/491202a

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Structural biology: A toolbox for protein design p.204


doi: 10.1038/491204a

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Astrophysics: Cosmic explosions in the young Universe p.205


doi: 10.1038/nature11643

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An Earth-mass planet orbiting α Centauri B p.207

Exoplanets down to the size of Earth have been found, but not in the habitable zone—that is, at a distance from the parent star at which water, if present, would be liquid. There are planets in the habitable zone of stars cooler than our Sun, but for reasons such as tidal locking and strong stellar activity, they are unlikely to harbour water–carbon life as we know it. The detection of a habitable Earth-mass planet orbiting a star similar to our Sun is extremely difficult, because such a signal is overwhelmed by stellar perturbations. Here we report the detection of an Earth-mass planet orbiting our neighbour star α Centauri B, a member of the closest stellar system to the Sun. The planet has an orbital period of 3.236 days and is about 0.04 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Earth–Sun distance).

doi: 10.1038/nature11572

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Input-specific control of reward and aversion in the ventral tegmental area p.212

Ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine neurons have important roles in adaptive and pathological brain functions related to reward and motivation. However, it is unknown whether subpopulations of VTA dopamine neurons participate in distinct circuits that encode different motivational signatures, and whether inputs to the VTA differentially modulate such circuits. Here we show that, because of differences in synaptic connectivity, activation of inputs to the VTA from the laterodorsal tegmentum and the lateral habenula elicit reward and aversion in mice, respectively. Laterodorsal tegmentum neurons preferentially synapse on dopamine neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens lateral shell, whereas lateral habenula neurons synapse primarily on dopamine neurons projecting to the medial prefrontal cortex as well as on GABAergic (γ-aminobutyric-acid-containing) neurons in the rostromedial tegmental nucleus. These results establish that distinct VTA circuits generate reward and aversion, and thereby provide a new framework for understanding the circuit basis of adaptive and pathological motivated behaviours.

doi: 10.1038/nature11527

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Filamentous bacteria transport electrons over centimetre distances p.218

Oxygen consumption in marine sediments is often coupled to the oxidation of sulphide generated by degradation of organic matter in deeper, oxygen-free layers. Geochemical observations have shown that this coupling can be mediated by electric currents carried by unidentified electron transporters across centimetre-wide zones. Here we present evidence that the native conductors are long, filamentous bacteria. They abounded in sediment zones with electric currents and along their length they contained strings with distinct properties in accordance with a function as electron transporters. Living, electrical cables add a new dimension to the understanding of interactions in nature and may find use in technology development.

doi: 10.1038/nature11586

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Principles for designing ideal protein structures p.222

Unlike random heteropolymers, natural proteins fold into unique ordered structures. Understanding how these are encoded in amino-acid sequences is complicated by energetically unfavourable non-ideal features—for example kinked α-helices, bulged β-strands, strained loops and buried polar groups—that arise in proteins from evolutionary selection for biological function or from neutral drift. Here we describe an approach to designing ideal protein structures stabilized by completely consistent local and non-local interactions. The approach is based on a set of rules relating secondary structure patterns to protein tertiary motifs, which make possible the design of funnel-shaped protein folding energy landscapes leading into the target folded state. Guided by these rules, we designed sequences predicted to fold into ideal protein structures consisting of α-helices, β-strands and minimal loops. Designs for five different topologies were found to be monomeric and very stable and to adopt structures in solution nearly identical to the computational models. These results illuminate how the folding funnels of natural proteins arise and provide the foundation for engineering a new generation of functional proteins free from natural evolution.

doi: 10.1038/nature11600

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Superluminous supernovae at redshifts of 2.05 and 3.90 p.228

doi: 10.1038/nature11521

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Non-invasive imaging through opaque scattering layers p.232

doi: 10.1038/nature11578

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Integration of chemical catalysis with extractive fermentation to produce fuels p.235

doi: 10.1038/nature11594

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Greenland ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise buffered by meltwater storage in firn p.240

doi: 10.1038/nature11566

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Mechanisms for oscillatory true polar wander p.244

doi: 10.1038/nature11571

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Genetic programs constructed from layered logic gates in single cells p.249

doi: 10.1038/nature11516

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Adenoma-linked barrier defects and microbial products drive IL-23/IL-17-mediated tumour growth p.254

doi: 10.1038/nature11465

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IL-22BP is regulated by the inflammasome and modulates tumorigenesis in the intestine p.259

doi: 10.1038/nature11535

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Regulatory B cells control T-cell autoimmunity through IL-21-dependent cognate interactions p.264

doi: 10.1038/nature11501

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CaMKII determines mitochondrial stress responses in heart p.269

doi: 10.1038/nature11444

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Direct imaging of RecA nucleation and growth on single molecules of SSB-coated ssDNA p.274

doi: 10.1038/nature11598

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The structural biochemistry of Zucchini implicates it as a nuclease in piRNA biogenesis p.279

doi: 10.1038/nature11502

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Structure and function of Zucchini endoribonuclease in piRNA biogenesis p.284

doi: 10.1038/nature11509

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